As the 4th of July approached, I decided to take a long weekend to visit a friend who was taking summer school at the University of Virginia. This would be the first time I would fly by myself. I was excited and looking forward to an enjoyable time. My flights went smoothly and I arrived in Charlottesville, Virginia on schedule in the late afternoon. As the evening progressed I started to feel fatigued. My hands and feet felt numb and my speech slurred. I chalked it up to a long day of travel. I could not get to sleep. At 4:30 am, I called home and in labored speech told my parents about my symptoms and that I was going to the ER at UVA hospital.
Entering the ER, I was favoring one side and they assumed I was having a stroke. They immediately took an MRI and realized that was not the case. There was inflammation in both hemispheres of my brain. Within a few hours, I was nonresponsive.
My parents got the phone call every parent fears. They were scrambling to get my dad on the quickest flight to Charlottesville. My mother joined us the next day after making arrangements for Miles to stay with neighbors.